29 March 2010

Allan Bradley leads translation opportunity

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute Director to focus on research and development

Professor Allan Bradley will step down as Director of the Institute to devote time to the development of a promising novel technology in mouse genetics.

Professor Allan Bradley will step down as Director of the Institute to devote time to the development of a promising novel technology in mouse genetics.

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The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute announces today that Professor Allan Bradley will step down as Director of the Institute to devote time to the development of a promising novel technology in mouse genetics resulting from findings from his laboratory work. Professor Bradley will continue to lead a research lab at the Institute as one of the Institute's Faculty of leading researchers.

Professor Mike Stratton, Deputy Director, will take over interim leadership of the Institute.

As one of the researchers who first developed mouse stem cell knockout methods with Martin Evans and Liz Robertson, Professor Bradley has always maintained an active research group. One area of his research has led to a translation opportunity, which will involve the creation of a new start-up company in the Cambridge area with significant investment from the Wellcome Trust.

Professor Bradley has decided to invest time and expertise in this start-up and his oversight will help to ensure that the methods and resources he and his team have produced are developed successfully.

Professor Bradley was appointed Director in 2000, taking on the challenge, responsibility and opportunity from founding Director John Sulston. He has steered the Institute through dramatic change into a new era of research.

Professor Bradley says: "I had always envisaged that evolving the Institute's scientific portfolio to its current state would take about a decade. Over the last year, I have become convinced that to a great extent I had realized the vision I brought to the Sanger in 2000, a view reinforced by the overwhelmingly positive feedback I have enjoyed from the Governors and staff of the Trust over the last few years."

Professor Bradley built a Faculty of around 40 researchers whose work would exploit the genomic sequences of organisms to develop biological understanding and potential healthcare benefits. Under his leadership the Institute forged new partnerships in human genetics, informatics, pathogen genetics and mouse and zebrafish genetics: the numbers of research papers published has increased fivefold.

Sir Mark Walport, Director of the Wellcome Trust, says: "On behalf of the Wellcome Trust I wish to thank Allan Bradley for his exceptional personal contribution to the success of the Sanger Institute over the last decade and to wish him every success in his continuing research programme at the Institute and in his new business venture."

"Under the leadership of Allan Bradley the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute has been transformed following the magnificent achievement of the Human Genome Project into its current position as one of the world's leading research institutes."

Sir Mark Walport

"Under the leadership of Allan Bradley the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute has been transformed following the magnificent achievement of the Human Genome Project into its current position as one of the world's leading research institutes devoted to understanding important aspects of genetic variation and gene function. This success has been a source of pride to the Wellcome Trust, and is a great credit to Allan and the staff of the Institute."

Professor Stratton joined the Institute in 2000 and has been Deputy Director since 2007. He leads the highly successful Cancer Genome Project and is a leader of the International Cancer Genome Consortium.

The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, which receives the majority of its funding from the Wellcome Trust, was founded in 1992. The Institute is responsible for the completion of the sequence of approximately one-third of the human genome as well as genomes of model organisms and more than 90 pathogen genomes. In October 2006, new funding was awarded by the Wellcome Trust to exploit the wealth of genome data now available to answer important questions about health and disease.

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The Wellcome Trust

The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health. We support the brightest minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities. Our breadth of support includes public engagement, education and the application of research to improve health. We are independent of both political and commercial interests.

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